March 2009

Friday afternoon was a bit …um… interesting – we were due to play at Tumut in the evening, so a nice gentle drive in the van had some appeal – until the grinding noises came from the starter motor bearings.

Sharon and I looked at each other and shrugged in unison. If the 20 year old van won’t make it, let’s take the 28 year old motorbike. A quick phone call to our bass player showed he hadn’t left yet, and could take the fiddle in his car. The bike was running brilliantly after its service, and the handling had improved markedly with new suspension and new tyres – in fact it was in the best condition it’s had for years. So we both decided that the ride would be a good idea.

The ride to Tumut was very pleasant – with perfect weather and good road (via Yass and Gundagai), and we arrived safely in late afternoon. After finding our room (the ‘band room’) at the Oriental Hotel, we had an excellent feed and tuned up for the show.


There was a good responsive crowd and we had a great time – the sound system behaved well and it was fortunate we had also brought lights 🙂


We played the first hour and had a short break, then by the time we were thinking of another break, it was too near the end so we did the second two hours straight through – time flies when you’re having fun.

We were quite exhausted by the end, so after the last encore we packed away the sound gear and headed off to bed.

Early next morning the sun shone golden over the town, and I took a couple of photos on our way out for breakfast at a nearby coffee shop.


After a photo under the Tumut town sign, we headed off to Gundagai for coffee.

Sharon wasn’t quite quick enough to avoid the camera this time!


We stopped at the famous Niagara Cafe – where Prime ministers from years past used to stop on their way to Canberra. There is a great old art deco counter there.


And, no, we didn’t sing about the dog on the tuckerbox!

We had a smooth run home, with the bike running perfectly. But it was nice to be back in our own bed at the end of the day.



What a busy week this has been! St Patrick’s Day in Canberra Australia (17 March) saw Full Circle playing at PJ O’Reilly’s Irish pub in Civic.

St Patrick's Day 2009

We set up and played our first set then an Irish dance school came in and performed, and we took it in turns – whenever we took a break, the dancers were on, and the crowd loved it.

St Patrick's Day 2009

When we finished the three brackets we had only a few minutes to pack the sound gear away and head off to Kingston where we played at Filthy McFadden’s Irish pub – if PJ’s was good, Filthy’s rocked.

St Patrick's Day 2009

We introduced a few new tune sets, including Paddy Fahy’s #14 and Dinky Dorrian’s which I’ve wanted to play for ages. And for Dinky’s reel I made full use of the new long lead to head for the dance floor out among the audience – and they loved it. Suddenly I was surrounded by mobile phones! All frantically taking photos!

St Patrick's Day 2009

We met some great people and had two great shows – although the voice was a bit hoarse and the fingers a bit tender after six hours of playing and jumping around. Music sure keeps you fit!

As I start to use granulated hide glue, as opposed to liquid hide glue I realised I needed a heated glue pot – preferably with a double boiler or thermostat controlled warmer.

I had heard of people using a coffee warmer, and I had a small one lying around gathering dust that I had picked up from a swap meet a year or two ago.

I did a couple of glue mixes using just the coffee warmer plate and an old vegemite jar, which was ok, but I felt that the bottom would overheat leaving cooler (potentially gelling) glue at the top.

So I modified the top of the original coffee jug by cutting a hole just large enough to screw the vegemite jar in, raising it a little form the bottom of the jug.

Then I put water in the coffee machine, let it drip through into the jug, then placed the glue jar with glue dissolved in an equal quantity of water as glue, into the coffee jug, and the warm water now surrounds the glue, keeping the whole thing at the right temperature moderated by a thermostat to about 65C.

Viola! the whole thing cost about $5 for the coffee machine, and the jar could have been any glass jar which might otherwise have just gone in the recycling bin.

glue pot


Do you like lists? has selected their pick of the fourteen most outrageous guitars on the internet. Some of them certainly prove the point that with electric guitars, it is more about the electrics than the shape of the wood. A plank will do if the electric pickups are good!

There are certainly some creative guitar sculptors out there!